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Strengthening disaster preparedness and livelihoods to build communities’ resilience to drought

In 2012, ACTED delivered programmes to address the impacts of drought in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) of Kenya, in Baringo, Turkana, Samburu, ACTED trained women groups with the aim of forming cooperatives which function as a platform for resource bulking towards the larger-scale production of a single product. and West Pokot counties, and opened a new area of operation in Mandera County in NorthEast Kenya. ACTED continued to focus in 2012 on food security, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction (DRR), animal health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions with the goal of helping (agro) pastoral communities recover from successive droughts, diversify their livelihoods and build resilience to future climatic shocks. ACTED’s integrated and multi-sector programming in Kenya included the delivery of hygiene training and kits, market infrastructure, cash for work activities, a de-worming and vaccination campaign for livestock, natural resource sharing negotiations, and the development of pastoralist field schools, women’s and livelihood groups, livestock management associations, and disaster risk management and water management committees.

Building resilience through community driven approaches

In 2012, ACTED supported recovery and resilience-building activities through community facilitation and training to vulnerable communities. ACTED sought to strengthen livelihoods through (agro) pastoral field schools which used a participatory methodology to foster innovative and diverse alternative livelihood activities. ACTED also supported community-based organisations (CBOs) to meet local needs by providing training ranging from business management to animal health. In addition, ACTED supported community asset building through village community banking, and worked with community disaster management committees to help communities identify hazards that they are vulnerable to, assess needs, develop contingency plans and identify projects to mitigate the impact of drought and other disasters. Finally, ACTED mainstreamed conflict mitigation aimed at increasing access to vital resources in its programmes.

Reducing health risks by providing clean water, good sanitation and hygiene practices

ACTED strongly supports the development of local markets as well as linkages between communities and authorities.  In 2012, ACTED implemented comprehensive WASH programs to reduce the prevalence of water-borne diseases and address underlying causes of malnutrition. In Pokot districts and Samburu county, ACTED worked to improve long-term access to clean, safe water by rehabilitating and protecting water points, and providing training and support to community water management committees and CBOs engaged in hygiene promotion and sanitation. These water supply interventions were coupled with hygiene awareness campaigns for children in schools, large-scale hygiene promotion for women and hygiene kit distribution, with nearly 5,000 hygiene trainings given and kits distributed.

Improving livestock markets and the livelihoods of (agro) pastoralists in Northern Kenya

ACTED formed and trained livestock market associations with the aim of enhancing the co-management of livestock markets between the community and the county administration. Agreements in the form of Memorandums of Understanding facilitated by ACTED, secured the sharing of trade-tax collected on every market day which helps the community represented by the associations manage immediate needs that a well-functioning market might have such as rehabilitation of infrastructure. Additionally, ACTED trained women groups with the aim of forming cooperatives which function as a platform for resource bulking towards the larger-scale production of a single product. In order for these groups to secure the selling of their product, generate an income and have wide support to further their activities, ACTED connected cooperatives to buyers and the relevant authorities.

Facilitating communities to independently prepare, respond and mitigate the impacts of hazards

In September 2011, the Governments of East Africa and Horn Africa resolved to end drought emergencies, agreeing that while droughts cannot be prevented, crisis can be avoided if communities are better prepared and more resilient to withstand shocks.Setting up community disaster management committees helps communities identify hazards that they are vulnerable to. In 2013, ACTED’s focus will be to contribute to this goal by supporting and strengthening community-driven approaches that build preparedness and resilience by facilitating communities to take the lead in identifying their needs, gaps and best ways of addressing and managing hazards, while supporting them with livelihood diversification projects that increase food security and income.

ACTED also intends to focus on hygiene promotion, including setting up a WASH intervention to reduce malnutrition for vulnerable children, and to continue to develop approaches to strengthening resources sharing agreements to promote conflict mitigation. ACTED will continue to develop its operations in Mandera in NorthEast Kenya to target some of Kenya’s most vulnerable populations. As part of the REACH initiative, ACTED seeks to undertake mapping and assessment to better understand conflict dynamics in the ASALs of Northern Kenya.

Partners in 2012:

Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Oxfam.

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